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Exegetical paper on Exodus - Essay Example

Over history, different cultures undertook this endeavor using different modes. In the Ancient Near East this mode was called a covenant. While there is some argument whether the stipulations of Exodus 20 forms a covenant which has it’s origins from the Hittites or Mesopotamia itself, it is sufficient for the moment to know that a covenant was the basis of understanding requirements made of a person or a community, A Hittite covenant in the Ancient Near East had the following components. A preamble with the historical summary. This was followed by stipulations and a copy deposited in a secure place for referral and for public reading if needed. A list of witnesses ensued next and was generally the gods they believed in, with the conclusion being and equation of blessings and curses for the adherence and the severance of the covenant. While covenants changed from community to community and the there are differences even amongst the covenants of the Old Testament, it is sufficient to know that this was Gods commands for his community constituting his law. “The covenant then constitutes the heart of God’s special revelation….”(Douglas & Tenney, 1984, p 238) for community building. Biblical Background In the chapters preceding the passage being exegeted we see the story of Gods people in the wilderness as they are redeemed out from slavery. Having entered the wilderness of Shur, they are a discontent community murmuring and rebelling. Nevertheless they experience the care of the Yahweh as seen

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through the provision of Manna and Quail in chapter 16, deliverance from the hostile Amalakites in chapter 17.Chapter 19 reports them entering into the wilderness of Sinai. Having brought them to freedom God sets the foundation for receiving his revelation through covenant in verse 15 “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,”. The rest of chapter 19 details the preparation for receiving the covenant. Exodus 20: 1-2 states the all-important preamble for the covenant. God asserts and claims the position of the one who has already redeemed Israel, and states what he has already done. On the basis of who he is, and what he has already done, God proceeds to give his revelation of the commandments to be followed through Moses to his people. These two verses are vital to understanding God’s intention and heart. “The tone for the entire section is set by verse 2: "I am the LORD, your [sing.] God who brought you Out of the land of Egypt from the house of slaves." The LORD can call on His people because he has delivered them; the Israelites have changed masters. The Israelite was to view the commandments through a heart, which had been touched by the loving action of the LORD. The commandments were an expression of God's concern for Israel; God's grace was manifest in the demands of the law.” (Worley, 1971, p 195) Structure of the Passage Through out this passage the second person singular pronoun “you” is used in specifying the commands. It could have been concluded that it was intended for Moses if we had not the benefit of chapter 19:9 where it is mentioned that the people would hear God speak. Despite the singular pronoun the commands are God’


Exodus 20:1-17 is the revelation of God specifying how Israel should worship, work and walk. Written in covenant forms known in the Ancient Near East it placed and individual and collective responsibility of being a community of God who has already been redeemed by him and brought into a promise of blessing…
Author : kaylahsteuber
Exegetical paper on Exodus
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